In a recent post, titled “A ‘People First’ Approach to Customer Service,” we touched upon several factors that make Ultimate Software’s support different, noting Ultimate’s 97% customer retention rate and 95% customer satisfaction rate. Ultimate received widespread industry recognition for its service in 2016, including being named a Gold winner for “Best Customer Service Department of the Year” at Network Product Guide’s 2016 IT World Awards, recognition in the Best in Biz Awards 2016 as a Silver winner in the “Support Department of the Year” category, and winning a TSIA STAR Award for Innovation in the Transformation of Support Services at the SMB Level.
Today, we’d like to share a primary differentiator in delivering Ultimate’s “People First” customer service: our collaborative support model.
Ultimate’s culture of innovation goes beyond the design of our people-centric products. It extends into the delivery of our personalized service. Last year, we recognized an opportunity to enhance the support experience for our customers even further by adopting a more effective customer service model: the collaborative support model (sometimes called “tierless” support).
Traditional software support is delivered in a “tiered” structure, where customer calls are automatically handled by a “Tier 1” support representative trained to answer the most common support questions. More complex questions are forwarded to “Tier 2” support reps, sometimes “Tier 3”, and so on. The downside to this approach is that customers might be required to explain their issue to multiple support representatives, remain on hold while the issue is escalated, or be placed into a “Tier 2” support queue for call-back. This tiered support system, while a logical organizational structure, can require a high level of time and effort from customers.
In contrast, when a customer submits a question in a collaborative support model, it immediately goes to a team of specialists and multiple subject-matter experts who can then “swarm” the issue. Their collaboration produces a prompt resolution with less customer effort required. In 2015, Ultimate adopted a collaborative support model designed to “swarm” each customer inquiry to ensure that subject-matter experts reviewed and resolved each question quickly. This approach improves the speed of resolution and provides the customer with one central point of contact. The results speak for themselves: after implementing the new model, Ultimate’s customer support inquiry resolution time decreased by 60 percent between May 2015 and June 2016.
In addition to dedicated account managers and cutting-edge collaborative support, Ultimate offers 24-7 service that includes a live chat, Rapid Response hotline, and online User Communities. All customers also have access to a virtual library with articles documenting resolutions to the most common inquiries. These articles are updated in real time by our subject-matter experts and are readily available for any users wishing to explore at their convenience.
Our underlying goal is to ensure our customers get the most out of UltiPro. We recognize that comprehensive product functionality and cutting-edge technology are only a part of that equation. Customers need exceptional service to experience more value from their HCM technology. Our customers can be confident that when they select UltiPro, they’re not simply choosing an HCM solution designed to improve work life for their people. They also stand to benefit from a lifelong partnership with Ultimate–a partnership built on trust, care, and a mutual investment in long-term success.
We are committed to this enduring promise: we’ll continue to provide innovative, industry-leading technology and service, and we’ll put people first while we do so.
That’s the Ultimate difference.